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Dunedin residents give budget-cutting ideas

In response to the city manager's request, suggestions include limiting the lights and increasing the push to fill business vacancies.

By TAMARA EL-KHOURY
Published May 25, 2007


DUNEDIN - Suggestions on how to save the city some cash range from limiting the hours street and stadium lights are turned on to beefing up the effort to fill vacant businesses.

Even an employee with the county's Economic Development Department contacted the city to tell officials that grant funds are available to help the city assess certain types of property.

That's the report two weeks after City Manager Robert DiSpirito asked the public to contact him through the City Manager's Hotline on www.dunedingov.com with ideas on how to cut Dunedin's budget, or bring new revenue to the city.

More than a dozen people responded but not always on issues that dealt with general city expenses such as parks and police. Residents also had suggestions for cutting costs in fee-based services such as utilities.

"I think money could be saved if residents had the option of receiving their utility statement via e-mail, " wrote Chris Dobey, 52, of Dunedin.

Some residents, like Geraldine A. Ross, 73, suggested cutting the city's twice-weekly trash pickup.

"There are many of us who only require trash pickup once a week, " she said.

City employees will be given time to brainstorm - and be rewarded with paid time off if they come up with an idea that is implemented.

The city's next public budget workshops are in July. The city is still taking ideas from the public.

Fast Facts:

Have a cost-cutting concept?

Dunedin City Manager Robert Dispirito is still accepting ideas on how to slash Dunedin's budget, or attract new revenue to the city. Contact him through the City Manager's Hotline at www.dunedingov.com.